Archive for the ‘ Personal Injury ’ Category

Yahoo Breach Victims Pursue Claims In State Courts

Posted on: November 17, 2016 by in Personal Injury
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Yahoo – also known as Yahoo, Inc. or as Yahoo! – is facing lawsuits in both federal and state courts after a high-profile hacking attack that exposed the information of over 500 million accounts. The Sunnyvale-based company, which was a leader in the early days of the internet, is facing a number of lawsuits from people who fear that their Yahoo accounts have been hacked and who claim that the company was grossly negligent for putting their financial and personal data at risk.

A complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in San Jose in September claims that Yahoo was “grossly negligent.” A similar lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court in San Diego charges that the hack caused an “intrusion into personal financial matters.” And six lawsuits against Yahoo have been filed in state courts in California since the company revealed information about a massive data breach that happened back in 2014.


Purported victims of the Yahoo breach who are filing their claims in state courts are hoping that their claims will benefit from California’s history of stricter cybersecurity and data privacy enforcement. California’s state courts have a history of upholding the rights of data breach victims. However, the first lawsuit against Yahoo in California was filed by a New York resident, Ronald Schwartz, accusing Yahoo of “reckless disregard for the security of its users’ personal information that it promised to protect.”


Californians bringing claims against Yahoo may choose to bring their class action lawsuits only against plaintiffs who are California residents since certain state laws, like California’s strict data breach notification statute, will apply only to Californians. However, the key reason for bringing claims through the California state courts, according to privacy expert Rebecca Herold of Rebecca Herold & Associates, is this: “The Federal court has historically required proof of actual injury to have occurred as a result of a breach,” but in California, “courts have not been as strict in requiring such evidence of injury.”

The lawsuits filed in state courts cite California’s personal injury and negligence laws as well as accusing Yahoo of breach of contract, invasion of privacy, and the failure to issue a timely data breach notification. California has been a pioneer regarding data breach notification requirements, and with allegations flying that Yahoo may have discovered the breach earlier than company officials are admitting, there are concerns that Yahoo may have violated the state’s strict data breach regulations by delaying notification reports to account holders.


“California,” says Herold, “has long been seen as consumer-friendly with strong support for privacy protection, for over 14 years now. With that history of being pro-consumer and pro-privacy, the plaintiffs from California may believe they are more likely to win their case than they would from a federal court, which historically has seemed to support businesses more than consumers when it comes to privacy breaches.”

An attorney representing plaintiffs in the federal lawsuit filed against Yahoo in San Diego told CNNMoney, “We have had a number of people approach us who had things accessed such as their tax accounts or credit cards, and they couldn’t figure out how people were getting into those. When this was disclosed, they went ‘Whoa, there’s an explanation.’” The San Diego complaint charges that Yahoo spent an “unusually long period of time” uncovering the breach, and in the two years since, account holders have been at risk for identity theft.

Whether or not to pursue a consumer complaint in a federal or a state court is a key decision that can affect the result of the case and the sum that must be paid if the plaintiff prevails. Plaintiffs may select different legal paths for their claims based on the particular details of each case. “Class action defense counsel often consider federal court to be a more hospitable forum, and I would not be surprised to see Yahoo try to have these cases removed to federal court under the Class Action Fairness Act,” one attorney told


Legally, what is an invasion of privacy, and how is it defined? According to one San Francisco personal injury attorney, an invasion of privacy can only happen if someone has what the law calls a “reasonable expectation” of privacy and that reasonable expectation is violated. Let’s say that you have a private letter with personal information. If someone steals the letter from your hand or pocket, it may or may not be an invasion of privacy. If that same someone shares the information and your reputation is damaged – or you suffer some other injury – you can sue for invasion of privacy.


But if you accidentally leave a private letter with personal information on a table at a restaurant or in the back of a taxicab, you have no reasonable expectation of privacy. Therefore, if someone reads and uses the information in the letter to injure you in any way, you have no grounds to sue that person – at least, no grounds to sue for invasion of privacy. Thus, a plaintiff suing for an invasion of privacy claim must prove that:

  • There was a reasonable expectation of privacy.
  • Privacy was invaded.
  • Injury was a direct result of the privacy invasion.


The data breach incident at Yahoo may or may not have injured the company’s account holders – that’s a question the courts will decide. But so much damage has been done to the company that it may trigger a clause in Yahoo’s recent merger agreement with Verizon which would enable Verizon to renegotiate the $4.8 billion arrangement made between the two companies this summer.


The California Constitution establishes privacy as an inalienable right in this state. If you believe that your own privacy rights and your expectation of privacy have been violated by Yahoo or by any other company you deal with, and if you believe you’ve suffered harm as a result of that violation, arrange to discuss your rights and options with an experienced San Francisco personal injury attorney.

California law guarantees that if a company exposes someone’s sensitive information in this state, the exposure must be reported to the citizen in a timely manner. California’s “Shine the Light” law, which took effect in 2005, sets forth the rules about how and when a company must disclose the use of an account holder’s personal information and imposes civil damages for violation of the law.

Who Suffers More When An Intoxicated Driver Injures You?

Posted on: March 8, 2016 by in Blog, Personal Injury
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You probably already know that driving under the influence is one of the predominant causes of traffic accidents and traffic fatalities in California and across the United States. Every year, about thirty percent of all traffic deaths are linked to driving under the influence. Additionally, drunk drivers injure thousands of other innocent drivers, passengers, and pedestrians every year, and many of those injuries can be quite serious. The law in California and every other state allows traffic accident victims to claim compensation for all of their medical expenses present and future, pain and suffering, all lost wages present and future, and all other damages and costs tied to any injury caused by a drunk driver.

Additionally, in California and a number of other states, in some cases the law allows for the recovery of punitive damages from a drunk driver who knowingly endangered others by driving under the influence. If you are injured by a drunk driver, it is imperative to retain a good personal injury lawyer as quickly as possible so that a proper investigation may be conducted and your personal injury claim may be filed promptly. In the San Francisco Bay Area, contact an experienced San Francisco personal injury attorney to discuss your legal rights and options – which may include a personal injury lawsuit – immediately after any traffic accident with injuries.

Thirty percent of us in the United States will be involved in an alcohol-related traffic collision in our lifetimes. Crashes that involve alcohol cost the United States approximately $51 billion in damages every year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Although drunk drivers are subject to serious legal penalties in every state, and drunk drivers can also be sued in civil court for damages, in many cases, it is still the injury victim who suffers the most, and no amount of punishment or compensation can alter that reality.

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Rebekah Bowers Sanders knows what it is to suffer. Last year, she and her husband were on their way to Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Ms. Sanders was supposed to be a part of her sister’s wedding. They didn’t make it. A drunk driver whose blood alcohol content (BAC) level was measured at 0.138 percent – the legal limit is 0.08 percent – crashed into their vehicle’s rear end near Paris, Texas. Emily Sharrock, then 20, was charged with two counts of intoxicated assault with a vehicle causing serious bodily injury. Since the crash last June, Ms. Sanders and her husband have been recovering from a variety of serious injuries. Combined, the couple sustained several broken ribs, four broken leg bones, a dislocated hip and shoulder, three broken arm bones, a broken eye socket with vision loss, a shattered wrist, a sprained ankle and wrist, torn ligaments, and severe bruising. Rebekah Bowers Sanders recently wrote these two paragraphs about her accident for the KLFY News website:

“A little over seven months ago, a drunk driver changed the lives of my husband and me forever. I have yet to regain the vision in my right eye, and it is extremely unlikely that I will ever see out of it again. I will never get to look over my shoulder at my children playing in the backseat of the car. I will never be able to put on eyeliner the same way. I cannot enjoy 3-D movies anymore, and driving is a constant stress. So many other tasks that used to be easy take extra time and attention. You don’t realize how much you need the vision in both eyes until you lose one of them. I just started walking unassisted two months ago after two leg and knee surgeries. Relying on others for rides, baths and meals was one of the most restrictive feelings. Luckily, I have a wonderful support system of friends and family who did all they could to make me feel ‘normal,’ but let’s be honest: There’s nothing normal about being 25 and having to be helped to the bathroom and shower.

I had to move back in with my parents for two months because my sweet husband was also severely injured and unable to help with my care. We spent our fourth wedding anniversary in separate hospital rooms hundreds of miles from home. While other families were celebrating Father’s Day, my daddy was hearing that his daughter was being rushed to an emergency scan because my oxygen level had crashed and they were afraid I had a blood clot in my lung. The 20-year-old who hit Zach and me had a blood alcohol content almost twice the legal limit, was on her phone and was also speeding at more than 20 miles per hour over the speed limit. It’s a dangerous combination that has cost us months of hardship and caused our loved ones to have horrifying memories they will never be able to forget.”

The catastrophic injuries sustained by the victims of drunk drivers can have a lifelong impact. A traumatic brain injury, for example, can occur whenever there is a blow to the head, and the potential for spinal cord injuries – and possible permanent paralysis – is also high in serious accidents. When an impact happens at the rear of a vehicle, the occupants may suffer a serious whiplash injury or soft tissue injuries. These are musculoskeletal injuries that can impact your ability to return to work or simply to meet your everyday obligations.

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Although many physical injuries may heal with time, as Rebekah Bowers Sanders’ words indicate, the emotional consequences of a serious injury caused by a drunk driver could be permanent. Seriously injured accident victims are often at risk for a number of potentially severe mental and psychological difficulties after an accident. Many accident victims have to deal with nightmares, flashbacks, isolation, alienation, and depression. Trauma and fear can plague an accident victim for a long time after the accident, and some losses can never be replaced.

Even without more serious psychological difficulties, a typical accident victim commonly suffers some level of depression for some amount of time after any serious traffic accident injury. That depression causes some people to have difficulty managing and maintaining their jobs, their finances, and even their marriages after a serious accident and injury. Drunk drivers may face the legal consequences of their actions, but it’s usually the victims of drunk drivers who ultimately pay the higher price.


If you have been injured in an accident with a drunk driver, you must try to accomplish a number of important tasks at once, and you’ll need to try and remain calm so that you can think clearly. Obviously, the first priority after any traffic collision is to obtain medical treatment immediately for yourself and for anyone else who’s been injured. San Bernardino personal injury lawyers suggest calling the police immediately after you summon medical help. You’ll need to obtain a copy of the police accident report, and you may also need the testimony of police officers as witnesses if you eventually choose to pursue a personal injury claim. Ask any witnesses to the accident for their names and a way to contact them. You must obtain the other driver’s name, contact information, and insurance information. Most drivers will be helpful, but if the other driver is too injured, intoxicated, or hostile to cooperate with you, ask the police to help you gather the information you need.

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Whenever you drive in the 21st century, it’s now also a smart idea to have the camera ready on your cell phone. After an accident, take abundant photographs – or if you’re injured and can’t take pictures, have someone take them – of the accident scene, the damage to the vehicles, the license plates, and your own visible injuries. Photographs can be convincing evidence in personal injury cases. Be sure that you can prove the date when the photos were taken. Also make and keep copies of each document generated by the collision: medical tests and medical bills, the police accident report, and any other paperwork. Additionally, you must also keep all of your medical treatment appointments and you must receive appropriate, timely care for all of your injuries. Your doctor appointments also create the medical documents that your personal attorney will need to fight for justice on your behalf. In the event that property was damaged, public adjusters in Miami, FL for residential insurance claims may be able to help.

When you are injured by a drunk driver who fails a breathalyzer examination – that is, a driver whose blood alcohol content level is measured at 0.08 percent or higher – your chances of prevailing with a personal injury claim are good. A breathalyzer test is persuasive evidence, and a DUI conviction is even more persuasive. However, you still must prove that you were injured by that particular driver in that particular accident, and you also must prove the extent of your injuries. A good personal injury lawyer will examine all of the evidence, interrogate the witnesses, and fight aggressively for the compensation and justice that you need and deserve after a serious injury caused by a drunk driver. If you’re injured in the San Francisco Bay Area by an impaired driver, don’t wait. Take your case at once to an experienced San Francisco personal injury attorney.

Intoxicated Drivers, The Super Bowl, And You

Posted on: February 11, 2016 by in Blog, Personal Injury
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Super Bowl Sunday is coming right up, and the San Francisco Bay Area is hosting the event for only the second time in the big game’s fifty-year history. Of course, the Denver Broncos and the Carolina Panthers are not the only teams busily preparing right now for the big game. Law enforcement agencies – and not just in the state of California, but across the United States – will be aggressively enforcing drunk driving laws in every part of the country with extra patrol units, additional DUI checkpoints, and more traffic stops and arrests for driving under the influence. Your chance of being pulled over for suspicion of DUI is almost double on Super Bowl Sunday compared to a more typical Sunday evening in February. So are your chances of being injured in an accident with an impaired driver.

Every year on the day of the Super Bowl, the number of intoxicated drivers on California’s streets and highways goes up, and so does the danger. In 2012, for example, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reported that alcohol was the key factor in 43 percent of the traffic deaths on Super Bowl Sunday and the following morning. On Super Bowl Sundays, alcohol-related crashes in the Los Angeles area go up by 60 percent, and in San Diego, the figure is a 117 percent increase, according to the Auto Club of Southern California.

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In recent years, drinking and driving on Super Bowl Sunday has become a growing public safety concern, and especially in California. Here’s why. On the ten Super Bowl Sundays from 2002 through 2011, 642 alcohol-related fatal crashes happened in California, according to the Auto Club of Southern California figures. If those Sundays had been routine Sundays, 276 fewer deadly alcohol-related collisions would have occurred. “In other words, 28 more alcohol-related fatal and injury crashes occur annually in California due to drinking and driving on Super Bowl Sunday” That’s what Auto Club researcher Steve Bloch tells the Los Angeles Times.

In California in 2012, 803 died in alcohol-related traffic collisions. That’s more than two fatalities a day. Thousands more were seriously injured. More than 172,000 drivers were charged with driving under the influence in California in 2012. Every year, DUI is the most frequently-charged crime in the state. The statistics tell us that when you drive or ride as a passenger in California, an intoxicated driver is probably on the road with you, and that probability doubles on Super Bowl Sundays. If you are injured by an impaired driver, it’s imperative to see a good personal injury lawyer at once. If you are injured by an impaired driver in San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose, or anywhere else in the San Francisco Bay Area, discuss the accident, your injury or injuries, and your legal rights and options – which might include a personal injury lawsuit – as quickly as possible with an experienced San Francisco personal injury attorney.

In every state, a driver is legally intoxicated if that driver’s blood alcohol content (BAC) level measures at or above 0.08 percent. Yes, drunk drivers face serious criminal charges when they injure other people, but drunk drivers may also be sued for personal injury damages. If you’re injured by an impaired driver, discuss the case with a personal injury attorney. If you have a personal injury claim and you choose to move forward with that claim, a good personal injury lawyer will handle it for you and negotiate aggressively on your behalf. Your attorney – and the other side’s attorney or attorneys – will reach a satisfactory settlement out of court, or your attorney will take your claim to a trial jury. The overwhelming majority of personal injury cases are settled out of court, but if your case goes to a trial, your lawyer will explain your story to the jurors and fight diligently for the compensation and justice you need.

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Always, your safety and the safety of your loved ones is a top priority. In 2012, more than 10,000 people died in the United States in alcohol-related traffic accidents. That’s almost one death every 51 minutes. With even more impaired drivers on the road for Super Bowl Sunday, consider these four basic safety precautions if you must drive on the day of the big game:

  1. You may not be drinking and driving on Super Bowl Sunday, but others will, so be certain to buckle up. Prior to game day, check your tire pressure and inspect your windshield wipers, your brakes, and all of your lights. If you drive on Super Bowl Sunday, you need all of the safety tools you can get.
  2. Always look in your mirrors – and into the distance – as well as directly in front of you when you drive. Always be aware that you are in the middle of constantly-changing conditions. Try to maintain enough distance between your vehicle and other vehicles so that you can stop or swerve away to avoid trouble.
  3. Never allow yourself to be distracted when you drive. Avoid eating take-out food, applying make-up, or talking or texting on the cell phone. In fact, turn the phone off. Pull off the road if you need to take a closer look at a GPS device or a map. And – it goes without saying – never drink and drive for any reason or under any circumstances.
  4. If you see road rage, absolutely avoid it. Drive away and out of the way, and do what it takes to protect yourself and your passengers. Take no chances. If you see dangerous driving or violence, do not hesitate to report it to 9-1-1.

Accident victims injured by negligent drivers, including victims injured by drunk drivers, have the right under California personal injury laws to receive full compensation for all of their medical care, for their days lost from work, and for all of their additional injury-related damages and losses. You’ll have to prove that you were injured and that the other driver was negligent, and you’ll need the legal advice and services of a good personal injury attorney, but if you have been seriously injured and the other driver failed a DUI test or is convicted of DUI, in most cases your personal injury claim will have a good chance of succeeding.


After an accident, immediately seek medical attention. Don’t find an excuse to avoid seeing a doctor. Your life and your health are your most important possessions. If you’ve been injured because of a drunk driver’s negligence, you must establish and maintain medical records of your injury and follow your doctor’s orders. Another reason you must seek immediate medical treatment is because if you don’t, and you file a personal injury claim, the defendant may charge that your injury happened elsewhere or that you really weren’t injured at all. If brain and spinal injuries are not immediately detected and treated, sometimes those injuries can remain latent and emerge months later as serious medical problems. If your injury is disabling, catastrophic, or permanent, you’ll need the maximum compensation that’s available, and you’ll need an attorney who knows what it takes to win that compensation on your behalf.

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At the scene of an accident, try to remain calm and to think rationally, because you must take several steps immediately. Obtain medical treatment first for yourself and for anyone else injured in the crash. Call the police and arrange to obtain a copy of the accident report. Get the name of the other driver and that driver’s contact and insurance information. Also get names and contact information from any eyewitnesses. Finally, take as many photos as you can of the accident site, the vehicles, and your visible injuries. Photographs can be compelling evidence in a personal injury case.

No one is immune from the tragedies associated with intoxicated driving – not even the stars of the Super Bowl themselves. In 2013, after playing in the Super Bowl in New Orleans for the 49ers (who were defeated that day by the Baltimore Ravens), tight end Delanie Walker learned – only hours after the game – that his aunt and uncle who had watched from the stands, Bryan and Alice Young, were killed on their way home by an allegedly impaired driver. Walker works now in the offseason to educate others and to raise awareness about the dangers of drinking and driving.

If you drive on Super Bowl Sunday or on any other day in the San Francisco Bay Area, you can and should take proper safety precautions. Inevitably, of course, there’s no final, certain way to keep a drunk driver from injuring you and your passengers, but if it happens, legal help is available. If you are injured by a drunk driver – anywhere in the country – take your case immediately to a good personal injury attorney. Witnesses forget details quickly, and. evidence can deteriorate or even disappear, so you must act promptly. If you are injured by a drunk driver on Super Bowl Sunday or on any other day of the year, speak immediately with a good personal injury lawyer, and in the San Francisco Bay area, speak at once with an experienced San Francisco personal injury attorney.

An Entirely Preventable Tragedy

Posted on: October 26, 2015 by in Blog, Personal Injury
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It’s the kind of tragedy that happens far too frequently, and it’s the kind of tragedy that’s entirely preventable. A 17-year-old Minnesota girl is now charged in a traffic accident that took the life of a father and daughter. Carlee Rose Bollig was driving a pickup truck in July when she allegedly ran a red light on U.S. Highway 10 north of Minneapolis. Charles Mauer and his 10-year-old daughter, Cassy, were on their way home from a public library when Ms. Bollig allegedly slammed into their car, according to WCCO-TV News. Minnesota State Patrol Lt. Tiffany Schweigart says investigators have strong evidence that Ms. Bollig was texting and ignored a red light. Minnesota prosecutors have now charged the driver with criminal vehicular homicide, using a phone while in motion, and driving without a valid license.

If you’re injured in California because someone was texting while driving and crashed into you, speak at once with an experienced Oakland personal injury lawyer. Texting or talking on a cell phone while driving is against the law and constitutes negligent driving, and in California, victims injured by negligent drivers are entitled to full compensation for all of their medical treatment and their other injury-related expenses. According to the National Safety Council, cell phone talking or texting is now tied to more than 25 percent of all traffic mishaps.

Forensic analysis of Ms. Bollig’s phone reportedly shows that she was texting just moments before the fatal accident. If you are injured by a texting driver, contact a good personal injury lawyer immediately. Your attorney will need to gather cell phone records, testimony, and other evidence as quickly as possible to fight effectively on your behalf. If you or someone you love has been injured – or is injured in the future – by a texting or a negligent driver, take your case at once to an experienced Oakland personal injury lawyer.

Adult Bicycling Injuries Increasing

Posted on: September 2, 2015 by in Blog, Personal Injury
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If you enjoy bicycling, northern California is one of the most beautiful regions in the world, and few cities are more bicycle-friendly than San Francisco. However, it only takes a moment for a pleasant bike ride to become painful and terrifying. If you’re injured by a driver’s negligence in a traffic accident while riding a bicycle in the San Francisco Bay Area, arrange right away to discuss your legal rights and options – which might include filing a personal injury claim – with an experienced San Francisco personal injury attorney. From 1998 through 2013, bicycling injuries sustained by adults increased sharply in the United States, according to some of the latest research findings.

The researchers examined injury statistics from the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which samples U.S. emergency room data for bicycle-related injuries. Combining that data with information from the Census Bureau, they determined that in 1998, only 23 percent of injured bicyclists were over age 45. By 2013, however, that figure had increased to 42 percent. One of the researchers, Dr. Benjamin N. Breyer of the University of California, told Reuters, “The injury data reflect a change in the demographics of bicycle riders. If you take a typical 25-year-old and 60-year-old and they have a similar crash, it’s more likely the older person will have more severe injuries.”

If you are injured while bicycling in California – at any age – it’s imperative to know your legal rights. Don’t admit any fault or sign any insurance forms before consulting with a personal injury attorney. If you are injured because of a driver’s negligence, you are entitled to fair and full compensation for your medical treatment, lost days of work, and your other injury-related losses and expenses. However, that compensation isn’t just given to you. You have to prove that you were injured and that your injury was caused by another person’s negligence. An experienced San Francisco personal injury attorney can fight for your compensation and your rights, but you have to take the first step. If you’re injured while bicycling now or in the future, make the call right away.

Police Brutality

Posted on: January 19, 2015 by in Blog, Personal Injury
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Excessive force, sexual and verbal abuse, physical and sexual assault, and racial discrimination by law enforcement officers are civil rights violations that are against the law. To subdue and arrest a suspect, police officers may use necessary reasonable force, but the law puts commonsense limits on the use of force by the police. The vast majority of California police officers conduct themselves professionally, but in any police agency, the bad cops work shoulder-to-shoulder with the good ones. Unfortunately, police brutality and other civil rights violations sometimes still happen in California, even in San Francisco, and sometimes people get hurt. If you become a victim of police brutality in San Francisco or anywhere else in our state, you have the legal right to file a claim and seek compensation, but you’ll need to speak first with an experienced San Francisco personal injury attorney.

Both before and after you are charged with a crime, and even after a conviction, law enforcement officers are responsible for protecting your civil rights, so if you’re injured by police brutality, speak at once to a good personal injury lawyer. Experienced personal injury attorneys have seen police violence up close and on more than a few occasions; you can be certain that your attorney will listen to you and investigate your claim. If you are successful, you may receive compensation for any medical expenses you incurred and any wages you lost, and in the most serious cases, punitive damages may also be awarded.

Another good reason to file a claim is to protect others through deterring future incidents of police brutality. If you’ve been victimized by one or more officers in San Francisco or in any other jurisdiction, don’t wait another day to begin seeking justice. Call an experienced San Francisco personal injury attorney as quickly as possible.